Orioles sign former Braves All-Star and Cardinals Gold Glover to minor-league deals

The Orioles are bringing in an experienced arm to compete in camp. And a veteran slugger!

Milwaukee Brewers v Atlanta Braves
Milwaukee Brewers v Atlanta Braves / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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The Baltimore Orioles already made their big offseason splash, but here come the depth signings at spring training with Opening Day fast approaching.

The Orioles signed both Julio Teheran and Kolten Wong to minor-league contracts. The deal features a $100,000 signing bonus, with an additional $2 million for Teheran if he makes the team out of camp. The details of the Wong deal have yet to be disclosed.

Teheran has bounced around the league since leaving the Braves in 2019, including brief stints with the Angels, Tigers, and most recently the Brewers. This past season with the Brewers was his best since 2019 -- he finished with a 4.40 ERA in 71.2 innings. He appeared in 14 games for Milwaukee, starting in 11 of those games.

Teheran had a fantastic start to his season for the Brewers last year, allowing two runs or less in his first six starts while accumulating at least five innings in every start. He had a 1.53 ERA across those six appearances, but his season took a turn for the worse shortly after. The magic that Teheran found early in the season was short-lived. Teheran's next five starts were ugly, with him surrendering at least six runs in three of those outings. He was then moved to the bullpen for his final three appearances.

His advanced stats aren't the best, but Teheran does a couple of things very well. For starters, he pounds the strike zone. Teheran was in the 96th percentile in BB%, issuing free passes just 4.5% of the time. He also has solid breaking pitches, including a curveball that yielded some great results in 2023. He gave up just two hits on his curveball last season while allowing an opponent batting average of just .074 and opponent slugging percentage of just .185.

Overall, Teheran represents a strike-throwing, soft-tossing, starting pitching option who could eat up some innings early in the season for the O's if he pitches well in camp. It's certainly not the most exciting signing, but it makes sense for the O's to bring in another guy with starting pitching experience while Bradish and Means continue to work their way back from injury.

As for Wong, the O's have a stacked infield but extra depth never hurts. And maybe Baltimore can once again offer a struggling veteran an opportunity to rebound like the O's did with Aaron Hicks in 2023.

Wong had a rough 2023 and was designated for assignment by the Seattle Mariners after hitting .183 with a .519 OPS in 67 games. The Dodgers picked him up late in the year and put him on their playoff roster ... and that didn't go well, either.

Entering his age-33 season, Wong has a legitimate MLB resume after winning back-to-back Gold Gloves at second base in 2019 and 2020 (he also received MVP votes in 2019). The lefty slugger won't crack the Opening Day roster, but could offer valuable depth at Triple-A throughout the season should the Orioles suffer an injury.

Think insurance and depth here. Teheran and Wong might not provide much of anything, but this isn't bad doomsday planning for the O's.